Day 83 | mile 1792.0 - 1820.9 | 28.9 miles

Woke up at 5. I slept really well. Only woke up once to drink a bunch of water. Man, I gotta set up my tent more often. Especially now that I know I can cook in there.

I made mashed potatoes with 3 cheese sticks.

My camp neighbor’s name is Scrubs. He is an older gentleman who doesn’t seem to be bothered by mosquitoes. I asked him how he deals, and he said “oh I just douse myself with mosquito spray.” Smart.

Moving at 6:15. Called mom. She’s the only one who would be up at this hour. Turns out I woke her up! Talked to Alex briefly at 7.

Slow moving today. Tired and my feet are sore from traversing all the large loose lava rock. Trying to cheer myself up by reminding myself that I’ll be at Crater Lake today! I’ve been looking forward to this for years.

I got to take off my headnet 5-ish miles into my hike. Wowww. Everything is so nice and clear. I got the first good views of Oregon this morning.

Lots of downed trees to climb over yesterday and today. It’s clear that the trail maintenance crew has done a lot since last year’s burn, but there’s still a lot.

Stopped for lunch at 12. Found a spot without mosquitoes, but with a bunch of bees. I’ll take just about anything over mosquitoes at this juncture. I had a bagel with cream cheese and raisins. I used 2 cream cheese packets because I’m going to town tonight. Then, tea and a Milky Way bar that someone gave me in Seiad. Left at 1:30.

A few days ago Forrest texted me saying he might visit me at Crater Lake. I wasn’t sure if he was serious. Crater Lake is surprisingly hard to get to! But then, right as I was about to stop for lunch, he texted me saying he would be at Mazama Village at 5:30. What! Awesome. I was on a mission to hike the 13 miles into town.

Walked through miles and miles of burnt areas. I actually ended up half a mile off trail at one point. You go around a fallen tree that you can’t climb over and then follow a false trail until you look at the map and realize you are lost. Super thankful for GPS technology in this stretch. I might still be wandering around a charred forest if it wasn’t for my phone.

I may have looped Hunger by Florence + the Machine a few (dozen) times.

Because of my detour, I was running a little late. The terrain was easy, my pack was light (because I was almost out of water), and mosquitoes were back. I started to run to make up some time and to avoid being bitten. Didn’t even make it a mile when I tripped on a tiny piece of root and flew down the hill in slow motion.

I must’ve ejected the trekking poles mid-flight because they ended up to my right and I landed on all fours like a fucking cat. I just sat there in shock for a while. My knees and hands stung a bit, but that’s it. What a lucky fall!

Couldn’t sit there too long. Mosquitoes saw an opening while I was weak and attacked. 0.1 miles away from the highway, I saw Forrest. I must’ve looked like a crazy person. When I finally saw myself in the mirror, my hands and legs were obviously very dirty, but I also had dirt and mosquito guts smeared all over my face.

Forrest opened the trunk of the rental car to reveal two Costco-sized flats of stone fruit: yellow peaches and white nectarines. Yessssssss. Even better than the trunk full of LaCroix in Yosemite. I ate two peaches and two nectarines in the car - a risky endeavor. I let the juices run on my already dirty shirt. And couldn’t touch anything until we got to the hotel.

Everything is booked in Mazama Village. We are splitting a very basic old room (no fluffy robe or tub) at Diamond Lake Resort - $112. Mosquitoes are bankrupting me.

Forrest brought fancy toiletries he no doubt swiped from an expensive hotel booked on miles. I am so clean and smell like a rich Italian man.

We shared a salad, a steak, and a burger at Beckie’s. It was a 30 minute drive to get there. Forrest drove while I imported pictures and brushed out my wet hair. Everyone seems really proud about not having service or WiFi in this part of Oregon. What kooks. How do you live?? Good pie though! We shared a peachy peachy pie a la mode. Oh, and the pie was warm. Duh. (Get it together, Callahan’s.)

I was fighting sleep on the way back. We got in at 9:30. They turn off their (painfully slow) satellite internet in the lobby at 9. InReached Alex and konked out.